Scott Wiggerman's Poetry Pages
W o r k s h o p s / C o u r s e s
May 18, 2013
July 21-26, 2013
For some poets, writing in anything but free verse is downright formidable. Wiggerman is here to help you lose your fear of form poetry with a week of generative writing exercises focusing on form. Rather than restraining, forms can be very liberating, as you will discover throughout the week, where such forms as haiku, sonnets, sestinas, ghazals, villanelles, and centos will be explored through study and experiment. No previous knowledge of these forms is necessary. Many other less formal—even unorthodox—types of poems will also be explored, such as the list poem, the abecedarium, the cutaway. Hybrid forms such as haibun and the prose poem will also be explored. One week isn’t going to make anyone a master of any form, but it is enough time to move you past your fear of form poetry, especially once you learn some of the tricks—dare we say, formulas—for writing in form.
Of course, forms cannot be studied and learned without a grounding in other poetic techniques and concepts. There is no haiku without imagery, no sonnet without rhyme and meter. Throughout the week, writers will be exposed to lessons in imagery, metaphor, rhyme, meter, and revision as the various forms are explored. In fact, revisions of drafts will be required as homework each night. Poet and editor Scott Wiggerman, who has taught popular "Jump-Start" classes for the Writers' League and poetry classes for the past five Summer Writing Retreats, has gathered, used, refined, and developed numerous writing exercises over the years, and in the course of this week, you will experience dozens of them, including several from two volumes Wiggerman has edited, Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry and the forthcoming Wingbeats II, on which he is presently at work.
During the week in Alpine, the class will engage in both individual and group writing exercises (including a field trip), and writers never leave town without a dozen or more solid drafts, whether the poems stay in form or evolve into something else. Wiggerman will guide you with new and creative approaches to your poetry! The One-Week Exercise Program: Forms will be a week you won’t want to miss.
Register at:Forms, Formulas, & MoreSul Ross University, Alpine, TX
March 9, 2013, and March 23, 2013
May 18, 2013, 10:30 a.m.
July 22-27, 2012
May 4, 2012
This workshop focused on four exercises from Wingbeats, the best-selling book at the Festival this year!
April 21, 2012
This free workshop focused on several key elements--imagery, metaphor, diction, phrasing, etc.--and how they work in combination with one other. We looked at contemporary free verse poems that exemplify the use of these elements, and we experienced hands-on a number of short exercises throughout the morning with an emphasis on how they help craft a successful poem.
April 2, 2012
This free workshop focused on quick and easy exercises to coax and arrange the words we all have within us.
January 14 & January 21, 2012
This workshop, based on Michael Theune’s Structure and Surprise, centered on six specific structures that can be used to both generate new poems and to revise older ones: ironic, emblematic, concessional, retrospective-prospective, dialectical-argumentative, and descriptive-meditative. We studied poems that employ the various structures and drafted poems using them in the course of these day-long workshops.
July 25-29, 2011
Both fun and challenging,"Working Out Your Writing Muscles" provided dozens of exercises--both orthodox and unorthodox--toward generating new ideas for writing. The exercises were designed to provide the seeds to poems, short stories (especially short-shorts), or memoir. I have taught popular "Jump-Start" classes for the Writers' League and poetry classes for the past three Summer Writing Retreats, and this course relied on several tried-and-true writing exercises I've gathered, used, refined, and developed over the years, including several from the newly-edited book, Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry.
I'm looking to book further Wingbeats workshops; let me know if you're interested. Other workshops I'm available for include To Market, To Market: Publishing Poetry, several variations of Jump-Start Your Poetic Engines, Tips and Tricks to Writing a Sonnet, Poetic Collaborations, the week-long Poetry 101: The Basic Toolbox, and the week-long Poetic Forms for Today's Poets. All are reasonably priced workshops geared toward working and struggling poets. Email me for further information, costs, and travel expenses (address at bottom of screen).
On the Six Structures workshops at the Writing Barn:
"I gained so much from your presentation, the variety of examples, and the chance to start some poems. I can really say it's one of best workshops I've attended." Gloria Amescua
"I got a lot out of the workshop, some of which I'm sure I'll be processing for a while. Thank you for your highly organized and meticulously detailed presentation--I have new standards for my own future workshops now thanks to you." ire'ne lara silva
On the Working Out Your Writing Muscles workshop in Alpine:
"What a week! I have attended many writing workshops in the last ten years (since I began trying to re-invent myself as a poet & writer), all the way from Ghost Ranch at Abiquiu, New Mexico to the University of Iowa Writers Workshop to Paul Burka's courses at Trinity in SA, and I can candidly say the one this past week was the best one, the most productive, the most inspiring, I have ever attended. That's the truth." Dorothy Alexander
"We stayed in Alpine for a few days to sightsee and I have to admit that I was constantly seeing something that inspired a poem. I ended up with more pages of scribble-drafts, thus hours of revision that I am actually looking forward to. One night while I was walking, I was thinking about how great all the Alpine workshops have been but that after Scott’s, I would not even consider not coming again." Christine Wenk-Harrison
On the Putting the Creative in Creative Writing workshop in Alpine:
"I wanted to thank you again for a great week. I really got a lot out of it and, quite unexpectedly, find that I like writing poetry. If the class had been entitled Putting the Creative in Creative Poetry Writing I'm certain I would have passed on it. And that would have been a huge mistake." John Doherty
"I wanted to thank you for an incredibly inspiring workshop. I really appreciated how much effort you put into preparing it. I hope I can continue to feel inspired now that I'm back in the chaos of my life. I like the sound of the word chaos, but not so much the meaning of it! Fortunately, you've given me a lot of ways to stay inspired." Leslie Stevens
On the Well-Seasoned Sonnet workshops:
"It was just the best. Pushed me well beyond my comfort zone and that always does me good. Thank you so much, Scott. I look forward to hearing about any other classes you teach. Count me in!" Mary Lynn Stafford
"You opened a whole new world for me! Something can be said for ignorance is bliss. More can be said for becoming aware of an unexpected present and future of shared learning, participation, friendship, and FUN! I enjoyed all of our class exercises and exchanges." Claire Camargo-Vogel
"What a great learning experience. I got everything I had hoped for from the class and more." Karen Foster
On the Jump-Start Your Creative Engines workshops:
"I have to thank you for being a pivotal influence in my life. I never dreamed I would get so much out of your workshop. I have not shared writings in a forum before, or had as much enthusiastic response as this group experience afforded me. And you are the brilliance behind the catalog of tools I now have to help me unlock the voice within. I will feel forever indebted to you and the energy you put into bringing me out of the shadows, and into a new light." Melissa Greenwell
"What a fantastic workshop! Well organized, PLENTIFUL and provocative. When I do community workshops, I tend to fear that I am talking down to adult artists and so don't bring so much. You showed me more than just a big marvelous bunch of creative ideas! I cannot thank you enough." Katherine Durham Oldmixon
"Not only did you turn on my inner poet but you also gave me realistic and yet encouraging advice! I loved the workshop. I also loved that you were able to have us participate but it felt nonthreatening. I usually get a little nervous when I have to read something I wrote in a group of strangers but you managed to make it feel safe. Thanks for that!" Melinda Brinkley
On other classes and workshops:
"I have been very impressed with your class. You are an excellent teacher. I have learned a lot from your class. People have made several comments about how much my poetry has improved. I know that it's because of what I've learned in your class. Thank you so much for being here for all of us." Cindy Zilinek
"I have had, in one form or another, eleven creative writing teachers/workshop leaders. And you have been the best teacher of them all. Your insights and the time you give to your students are simply phenomenal. Whatever you're getting paid, it isn't enough..." Mark Cohen
"I probably have every poetry writing book known to man--and Scott's lessons are better than any of my books--by far." Kathleen McCormick
Am I thrilled to hear such remarks? You bet!